I can’t recall where I first heard the idea that you can raise a child in the same way you can grow tomatoes within a wire cage, but I liked it immediately. Tomatoes love a good cage. Wire, wood, bamboo – they'll be happy with anything that provides good structure and support to leaf out and burst forth in a mad bramble of foliage and fruit.
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“Jaime, you might actually be getting smarter,” said my mom when I informed her that I’d declined a request to volunteer on a rather ambitious project. And by god, she’s right - I am. I’m getting smarter by being more selective and discerning about how I want to spend my precious life force. I used to say yes to damn near everything - down for whatever, a team player, your go-to gal and involved in more things than I could ever successfully manage.
It began as a poem by Walt Whitman, published in 1885, and then became the title of the 100th episode of The Twilight Zone, written by science fiction genius Ray Bradbury in 1962. He would later publish a superb collection of short stories in ‘69 under the same title - I Sing the Body Electric. I can still picture the jacket cover: a dark haired woman, reminiscent of Cher, nude, enshrined within the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh and surrounded by swirling arcs of yellow and green.
If there’s one thing my dad’s good at in this world, it’s running a business. Poor guy tried in vain to encourage his only daughter to pursue the highly practical path of a business degree, but instead I chose the deliciously colorful buffet that is Cultural Anthropology. In standard father-daughter form, I resisted most of the wisdom he attempted to send my way, although a few gems managed to pass through the semi-permeable membrane of my stubborn dome.